UK Leadership Positioning For The Upturn

The global economic recession has opened a significant divide between the public and private sectors of the economy. A lack of fresh ideas may inhibit productivity and competitiveness. Companies are urged to keep talent management on the board meeting agenda.

Online PR News – 25-March-2010 – – Uncertainty about the fallout in 2010 from the global economic recession has opened a significant divide between the public and private sectors of the economy in the United Kingdom, says Beth Cauldwell, an executive search consultant in the London TRANSEARCH office.

"In the private sector, companies have made radical cutbacks in headcount across the board. As a result, many are now feeling vulnerable as they are under-resourced for an upturn when it comes," Cauldwell says. "In the public sector, there have been no widespread cuts yet, but the public sector is waiting for inevitable cuts to happen." Private companies continue to be challenged by banks unwilling to loan money and the private equity market has been badly hit by the economic tumult of the past 15 months, she adds, exacerbating a general lack of available funding.

Downsizing by private companies has significantly increased the number of management executives in the job market, and the availability of so many experienced business leaders has lulled many organisations into the assuming they can simply shelve talent management strategy and avoid focusing on retention practices.

However, there will be significant consequences for companies that let the job market dynamic drive their talent practices and those who fail to proactively manage key leadership performance drivers , Cauldwell contends.

Having a top quality leadership team is even more important in an economy which is the toughest we've seen for 60 years," Cauldwell says. "You can't afford to field a 'B' team in this environment, so therefore it's imperative to devote resources to talent development, acquisition and retention." The task of acquiring new management talent isn't made less difficult in times like these, in part because job security is paramount for those considering a move from a current employer to a new company. Also, some senior executives won't even consider a career move unless they can negotiate a package to leave.

"Finding a win-win proposition is the same as ever," Cauldwell shares. "Ensuring candidate and client fit and confirming that expectations are realistic on both sides is key" she adds, noting that companies and individual leaders acknowledge that all must operate within the limitations of the current economic environment.

Looking ahead at business priorities in 2010, Cauldwell urges companies to keep talent management on the board meeting agenda and to examine how a lack of injecting new leadership with fresh ideas may inhibit productivity and competitiveness as the United Kingdom's economy emerges from a watershed period.

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